Zeiss is known for high-end lenses and now that extravagance (and expense) is extending to cinema. On Thursday, May 24, Zeiss announced the launch of the new Zeiss Supreme Prime, a collection designed for cinema cameras that will eventually include 13 fixed focal length lenses. With a quality and price designed for high-quality film productions, however, more will probably see the results of the lens in theaters than the number of videographers that actually get to shoot with one.
The lens line will eventually extend from 15mm to 200mm, but the first lenses in the series will be the 25mm, 29mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm. The remaining lenses will all roll out gradually over the next two years. The series is designed for large format cinema cameras like the Sony Venice, RED Monstro, and ARRI Alexa.
The lenses are designed for versatility, extending from use shooting science fiction to dramas, says Zeiss product manager Christophe Casenave. He says the lens is capable of creating different looks because of what he describes as a “gentle sharpness” along with focus fall-off and the quality of the bokeh.
The high-end quality mixes with a durable design that is also comparably lightweight, Zeiss says. “Weighing an average of 1,600 grams (3.5 pounds), Zeiss Supreme Primes are significantly lighter and smaller than comparable lenses on the market,” Casenave said in a statement. “Zeiss Supreme Primes are unbelievably rugged and reliable. Regardless of whether filming in the desert or in the Arctic, the lenses perform flawlessly. And in the event that something should ever break, our worldwide service network provides fast and professional help.”
Along with the mix of quality and durability, the lenses also use the company’s Extended Data metadata. The tool collects information on the lens vignetting and distortion to speed up the post-production process to remove and reapply the data in a few clicks when working with special effects.
The lenses will be presented during the CineGear Expo in Los Angeles next week. As for actually buying them? Well, that will require $108,000 for the initial set of six. The 25mm, 29mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm will go on sale starting August 1, with the 100mm following sometime in December.